It was great seeing all the CSI Phoenix members who participated in the Trade Show at the AIA State Conference this past week. I think all will agree that the show was a success.
As I circulated throughout the room though a problem surfaced that I would like to discuss.
Right after entering the room I stopped at a booth and, after a few minutes of hearing about the persons product line I asked my standard question of any new product rep I meet, ÏAre you a member of CSI? The response was ÏNo and although the person had heard of CSI they did not know exactly who we are and what we do. As I was telling him about CSI I swept my arm across the room and said, ÏIn fact about 80% or better of the companies in this trade show are members of our Phoenix Chapter. I then told him to contact Louise & Jill about attending one of our meetings to see first hand who we are.
I hope the gentleman doesnt try to corroborate my membership percentage because I later found out I was very wrong. After I was about halfway through the room and was talking to Ken Martinek I told him of my first encounter with a non-member and said, ÏI think that the percentage is only about 60%.
I continued through the room and actually encountered more than one product rep that did not even know what CSI was! (except for the TV Show). Naturally this was very disconcerting. I explained to each of these people what we were all about and urged each to come to one of our meetings. At the end of the show I stopped and talked with Louise Rehse and told her my story and once again downgraded my membership percentage estimate to, ÏLess than 50%. Louise agreed with me.
To be equally fair I also talked to numerous Architects I knew who were not members and urged them to join also.
As each of us knows, the more members we have, from a multitude of industries, the stronger our Phoenix Chapter is. Whether they are a competitor to an existing members firm or a totally different company manufacturing products totally different, we want and need them as members. As an Architectural Specifier I rely upon all manufacturers representatives for information on their products that I cannot get out of a product binder or a web site. Without you a Specifier cannot do her or his job properly. I urge each of you in your day-to-day business/social activities to promote CSI at every opportunity. Architects, urge every Product Rep, other Architects and Contractors you meet with to join CSI. Product Reps, urge every Architect, Contractor and other Product Reps you meet with to join CSI. Contractors, urge every Product Rep, Architect and other Contractors you meet with to join CSI. Together we can continue to make our organization better for all of us.
Jay Norton, CSI
CSI Phoenix Chapter President